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Sasha brought together, natural dye experts and practitioners in a free-wheeling discussion on expanding the rhetoric around textile sensibilities and practices of natural dyes. In conversation were Amrita Mukherjee, Ajit Das, Monoleena Banerjee, Santanu Das & Silpinwita Das and Karobi Choudhuri. Santanu Das, the designer and founder of Maku Textile, had begun the discussion talking about his special interest in the colour indigo and how he has worked with natural dye. The famous designer and textile artist, Monoleena Banerjee, had added to the conversation with her vast knowledge about natural dye, traditional printing, shibori, batik, and block print. Amrita Mukherjee, the founder of Sutra Textile, said, “Conservation of textiles has never been taken seriously.” And thus she had come up with ‘Raksha’ event back in 2010. Her interest in indigo cultivation brings the new Sutra event, ‘Indigo Sutra’. Ajit Kumar Das, a national awardee painter and designer, who had begun his career as a printer in Serampore, spoke about his experience with natural dye. Mr. Das was accompanied by her daughter Silpinwita Das, and she described how she is working with natural dye under her father’s supervision.
For Sasha, natural dyes were a logical progression as far as working on ecological lifestyle alternatives is concerned. Our efforts to organize our producers groups to diversify into products using natural dyes were a commitment towards Fair and Sustainable Fashion. And now with Sasha opting to display a diverse collection of Natural dyed products like fashion accessories, garments, mats, rugs, candles and jewelry at Indigo Sutra Grand Bazaar in November, we think we have arrived at the scene! By supporting local and artisanal products dyed with natural dyes, Sasha is contributing to a clean and safe environment.
This month we had a study tour from our long-standing Fair Trade partners Trade Craft, UK. A team of twelve, mostly volunteers and avid supporters lead by Ranjith Henry of KOLAM Responsible Tours & Soft Travels visited the Sasha Shop. Presentations were made and discussions on Sasha’s work over coffee and Samosas. Thereafter, the team indulged in some serious retail therapy! The following day, they visited one of our embossed leather units at Habra. It is always a pleasure to have teams from our Fair Trade partners.
Sasha was delighted to present its exclusive Kantha collection, lovingly created by our talented women artisans, and sharing a collective Bengali ethos in New Delhi. The Kantha exhibition presents an amazing variety of motifs, patterns, colour combinations, and designs of the Kanthas, demonstrating the imagination and creativity of their maker. A part of the collection was also designed by Laila Tyabji of Dastkar. The exhibition was held at Dastkar Nature Bazaar, Kisan Hat from 13th to 15th October. Our colleagues, Raminder Khan and Roshni Mukherjee were at the exhibition, sharing details about the intricate and wonderful work of our women artisans.
SSA was invited to participate in the partner’s meet of SOIR-IM’s country office. Two day training cum workshop on strategic planning was part of the network meeting of SOIR IM partners. The workshop dealt with revisiting the vision, mission, values for your organisation, defining the core problem which we address, defining success for us as an organization & identifying priority areas that we that we think needs attention. Mr. Pratik Kumar was the resource person for the workshop. The workshop is very useful for us as we are also in the process of facilitating a Strategic Plan for Sasha in January 2018. Sujata Goswami & Sayanti Banerjee participated from SSA.